Also known as the doldrums, the Intertropical Convergence Zone, is a "band within 5* to 10* of the equator [that] lies at the convergence of the northern and southern trade wind belts. [...] Boats must cross this area when traveling between the Northern and Southern Hemisphere." I won't go into many details, other than "the typical weather in this region includes light and variable winds, frequent squalls with heavy rain, and heavy thunderstorms." (The Voyager's Handbook, p. 388)
In the past twelve hours we have experienced it all, except for the thunderstorms. It's not boring. According to our grib files, this moving, flexing band has recently shifted north of the equator. While we seem to be in it, we managed to make it to a somewhat thin section. Last night, we were making continual adjustments in shifting winds and both got soaked by torrential rain within 5 minutes. It was refreshing and a bit of a novelty, until the leak count in the cabin. (I love my wooden boat, I love my wooden boat...)
I guess we'll see how long it takes us to get through it. Will we be hard core like some boats we know and sail (even if we end up going backwards for a while), or will we fire up the engine for a few hours to get through the worst of it? We'll come clean and tell you, I promise. Whatever we do, there is no chance of us motoring much, we only carry 35 gallons of fuel. Yes, you read that right.
I might regret writing this, but so far, it's not so bad... Knock on wood.
Position: 07* 54.427' N 128* 31.787' W
Distance: 108 nm
Heading: 197* T
Speed: 4.5 knots